Friday, January 27, 2017

The Way To A Better World

 "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." Eleanor Roosevelt

Imagine a world where we discussed positions and policy rather than made a game of throwing mud at the political candidate the other side supports. Most likely we could achieve workable compromise and consensus, and thus be able to side-step those politicians who really don't seem to represent any of us all that well.

Imagine media that discussed the important issues in a fair and intelligent manner rather than attempting to find the most inflammatory way of presenting things in order to boost their ratings.

Imagine that there was another option to either spewing hateful rhetoric or avoiding political discussions altogether. It would involve respect for your fellow citizens rather than judging those you know little to nothing about. Instead of assuming we know everything, we could feel free to admit our own ignorance of the lives others live. Admitting ignorance is, after all, the beginning of any kind of deeper understanding.

If you have imagined any of these things, congratulations, because imagining something is the first step in making it a reality. The excuses for not following through are many, the most often used one being that the other side is not playing fair. I would remind you of what your mother most assuredly told you when you were young: if everyone else jumped off a bridge would you do the same?

If you are on the side that is right, then it is incumbent upon you to be the bigger person. It is up to you to set the example, to set the bar a little higher, for it is each and every action we take that makes the world a better or worse place, each expression of faith or doubt that leads us closer to Heaven or Hell. Lowering the bar just gives others the excuse to do the same. It is in you that change begins, it is your great task in life to be a role model for others. You will not always see the influence you have on people but you must have faith that in doing good, in acting nobly, you will inspire goodness and nobility in others. And if you should ever be fortunate enough to discover that you have changed someone's life for the better by some small act of kindness or compassion, you will realize in that moment how little it cost you and how much it meant to someone else.

And that is the way we will make the world a better place. Sure, we all want instant gratification, we all want to do away with all the bad in the world but it is unrealistic to believe that it will happen in a way that we can predict or even comprehend. We need humility to understand that our role is so tiny, and we need faith to understand that we are not acting alone. We are each of us foot soldiers in a war larger than any we have fought before. It is a war without enemies except failed ideas and misdirected emotions. It will not be achieved through ignorance, hatred, arrogance, fear, or half-hearted efforts, but through an earnest desire to learn more, compassion for your fellow man (and woman), humility, faith, and commitment.

The way forward is not that complicated. Do good and have faith that others are doing their part. Have faith too that though there are undoubtedly others not doing their part, your example will lead them in the right direction. The road will be difficult and you will falter often, just as in any other endeavor. Some will disappoint you but many others will humble you in their successes and their sacrifices. A better world is out there, and I will accept no other answer than that we are on the road towards it.

No comments:

Post a Comment